Namasté, ale! Italy’s Francesco Gabbani is our readers’ favourite to win Eurovision

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He’s the “Occidentali’s Karma” singer who has been the front-runner to win Eurovision 2017 for months.

And on Saturday our readers gave Italy’s Francesco Gabbani their final seal of approval, naming him their favourite to win tonight in Kyiv.

Our readers cast a total of 41,069 votes and the Italian stallion trotted away with 3,745 of them — or around 9%. Ahead of Eurovision the studio version of his song also won top marks from the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals. As one of our jurors wrote in March:

‘Occidentali’s Karma’ ticks so many boxes — I need several pens and one very large scroll to evaluate it. Contemporary yet somehow throwback, its digital opening gives way to an orchestral sound accented with drum and guitar. The chorus is an ear worm of the first order and, despite the explicit social critique, the song remains uplifting and radio-friendly. Perfectly pitched and delivered with unrivalled charisma, it’s a light song with a weighty message, and it speeds by in a whoosh of smiles and tapping feet. A deserving and likely winner.

We should note that the vast majority of votes in this poll came prior to rehearsals, meaning our readers were primarily judging the studio versions of the songs, rather than the on-stage presentation that most viewers will see this evening.

Perhaps owing to months of overwhelming hype, Italy has fallen slightly with the bookies and our own panel of critics, who think his staging has moved from classy and quirky to somewhat forced and circus-like. In so many ways he now seems like a warm-up act for surging rival Salvador Sobral, who performs two spots later. No matter. Those seeing the performance for the first time will likely be won over by his charisma, smokey vocals and playful expressions.

In second place is Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov, who stands alone in a monochrome dreamscape, singing about the horrors of the world and his search for peace and solace. The Bulgarian-Kazakh singer, who was born and raised in Moscow, should get a slight boost from the Russian diaspora, owing to Russia’s absence from the contest and Dima Bilan’s public endorsement of the singer.

In our poll he earned 3,188 votes — or around 8% — putting him very close to Italy.

Our readers seem to think the grand final will be boys’ night, as Portugal’s Salvador Sobral rounds out our Top 3.

The “Amar peolos dois” singer earned 2,510 votes — or around 6%. He’s been at something of a disadvantage in our poll, as he missed the first week of rehearsals owing to ongoing health issues, forcing his sister Luisa to sing in his place.

But from the moment he landed in Kyiv and took the stage his odds have narrowed and his song’s chances of winning have grown and grown, leaving us speechless with each rehearsal.

Poll results: Who should win Eurovision 2017?

  1. Italy: Francesco Gabbani, “Occidentali’s Karma” 9.12% (3,745 votes)
  2. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov, “Beautiful Mess” 7.76% (3,188 votes)
  3. Portugal: Salvador Sobral, “Amar pelos dois” 6.11% (2,510 votes)
  4. Belgium: Blanche, City Lights 5.66% (2,324 votes)
  5. France: Alma, “Requiem” 5.64% (2,317 votes)
  6. Spain: Manel Navarro, “Do It For Your Lover” 3.65% (1,499 votes)
  7. Romania: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea, “Yodel It!” 3.63% (1,491 votes)
  8. Sweden: Robin Bengtsson, “I Can’t Go On” 3.54% (1,452 votes)
  9. Poland: Kasia Mos, “Flashlight” 3.46% (1,423 votes)
  10. United Kingdom: Lucie Jones, “Never Give Up On You” 3.02% (1,242 votes)
  11. Azerbaijan: Dihaj, “Skeletons” 2.86% (1,173 votes)
  12. Armenia: Artsvik, “Fly With Me” 2.71% (1,112 votes)
  13. Netherlands: O’G3NE, “Lights and Shadows” 2.67% (1,095 votes)
  14. Denmark: Anja, “Where I Am” 2.37% (974 votes)
  15. Israel: Imri, “I Feel Alive” 2.06% (845 votes)
  16. Greece: Demy, “This is Love” 1.86% (763 votes)
  17. Hungary: Joci Papai, “Origo” 1.63% (670 votes)
  18. Belarus: NAVIBAND, “Historyja majho zyccia” 1.55% (637 votes)
  19. Australia: Isaiah, “Don’t Come Easy” 1.51% (622 votes)
  20. Norway: JOWST, “Grab the Moment” 1.51% (620 votes)
  21. Austria: Nathan Trent, “Running on Air” 1.27% (523 votes)
  22. Moldova: SunStroke Project, “Hey Mamma!” 1.22% (499 votes)
  23. Cyprus: Hovig, “Gravity” 1.13% (463 votes)
  24. Croatia: Jacques Houdek, “My Friend” 0.91% (375 votes)
  25. Ukraine: O.Torvald, “Time” 0.65% (266 votes)
  26. Germany: Levina, “Perfect Life” 0.46% (188 votes)

In the poll above we have removed acts eliminated from the semi-finals.

If we were to include the full results with those acts, the top nine remains exactly the same.

The top non-qualifier in our poll is FYR Macedonia’s Jana Burceska, whose studio cut of “Dance Alone” whipped fans into a frenzy. She placed tenth in our poll.

The non-qualifiers are listed in bold below.

  1. Italy: Francesco Gabbani, “Occidentali’s Karma” 9.12% (3,745 votes)
  2. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov, “Beautiful Mess” 7.76% (3,188 votes)
  3. Portugal: Salvador Sobral, “Amar pelos dois” 6.11% (2,510 votes)
  4. Belgium: Blanche, City Lights 5.66% (2,324 votes)
  5. France: Alma, “Requiem” 5.64% (2,317 votes)
  6. Spain: Manel Navarro, “Do It For Your Lover” 3.65% (1,499 votes)
  7. Romania: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea, “Yodel It!” 3.63% (1,491 votes)
  8. Sweden: Robin Bengtsson, “I Can’t Go On” 3.54% (1,452 votes)
  9. Poland: Kasia Mos, “Flashlight” 3.46% (1,423 votes)
  10. FYR Macedonia: Jana Burceska, “Dance Alone” 3.1% (1,272 votes)
  11. United Kingdom: Lucie Jones, “Never Give Up On You” 3.02% (1,242 votes)
  12. Azerbaijan: Dihaj, “Skeletons” 2.86% (1,173 votes)
  13. Armenia: Artsvik, “Fly With Me” 2.71% (1,112 votes)
  14. Netherlands: O’G3NE, “Lights and Shadows” 2.67% (1,095 votes)
  15. Denmark: Anja, “Where I Am” 2.37% (974 votes)
  16. Switzerland: Timebelle, “Apollo” 2.3% (943 votes)
  17. Ireland: Brendan Murray, “Dying to Try” 2.14% (879 votes)
  18. Israel: Imri, “I Feel Alive” 2.06% (845 votes)
  19. Estonia: Koit Toome & Laura, “Verona” 2.05% (841 votes)
  20. Greece: Demy, “This is Love” 1.86% (763 votes)
  21. Serbia: Tijana Bogicevic, “In Too Deep” 1.68% (691 votes)
  22. Hungary: Joci Papai, “Origo” 1.63% (670 votes)
  23. Finland: Norma John, “Blackbird” 1.59% (655 votes)
  24. Belarus: NAVIBAND, “Historyja majho zyccia” 1.55% (637 votes)
  25. Iceland: Svala, “Paper” 1.55% (637 votes)
  26. Australia: Isaiah, “Don’t Come Easy” 1.51% (622 votes)
  27. Norway: JOWST, “Grab the Moment” 1.51% (620 votes)
  28. Latvia: Triana Park, “Line” 1.49% (610 votes)
  29. Albania: Lindita, “World” 1.46% (601 votes)
  30. Austria: Nathan Trent, “Running on Air” 1.27% (523 votes)
  31. Moldova: SunStroke Project, “Hey Mamma!” 1.22% (499 votes)
  32. Cyprus: Hovig, “Gravity” 1.13% (463 votes)
  33. Croatia: Jacques Houdek, “My Friend” 0.91% (375 votes)
  34. Montenegro: Slavko Kalezic, “Space” 0.75% (306 votes)
  35. Malta: Claudia Faniello, “Breathlessly” 0.73% (300 votes)
  36. Ukraine: O.Torvald, “Time” 0.65% (266 votes)
  37. Georgia: Tamara Gachechiladze, “Keep the Faith” 0.63% (260 votes)
  38. Russia: Julia Samoylova, “Flame is Burning” 0.63% (259 votes)
  39. Lithuania: Fusedmarc, “Rain of Revolution 0.61% (250 votes)
  40. Czech Republic: Martina Barta, “My Turn” 0.54% (220 votes)
  41. San Marino: Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson, “Spirit of the Night” 0.48% (197 votes)
  42. Germany: Levina, “Perfect Life” 0.46% (188 votes)
  43. Slovenia: Omar Naber, “On My Way” 0.31% (132 votes)

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